The Mantis Is Ready To Show Who’s The Best At ROC 57
When Frank “The Mantis” Buenafuente (7-2) won the Ring of Combat Featherweight title at ROC 55, he knew a target would be placed on his back. Fighters from all over would be coming for his belt, and The Mantis would have it no other way.
AT ROC 55, Buenafuente would face Jose Mariscal (5-2), a fighter who challenged for the ROC lightweight title just one fight prior, at ROC 55 where he would put on a virtuoso performance en route to a unanimous decision.
Just three months later, he would defend his title against Nekruz Mirkhojaev (2-2) another fighter who was coming down from lightweight in hopes of snatching Buenafuente’s title. It was a valiant attempt on Mirkhojaev’s part as he did have the champion in a few uncomfortable spots but the champions ground game proved to be too slick as he forced Mirkhohjaev to tap in the second round via rear naked choke.
Now The Mantis faces Julio Arce (9-2),a fighter who once held the ROC bantamweight title and is now moving up in weight to for Buenafuente’s title. Knowing that all challenges to his title are equal and in ROC, there are no easy fights, Frank prepares like he always does.
“All of my camps are pretty much the same thing,” said Buenafuente. “I step in that cage everyday for practice and I'm stepping in there with the mindset of I'm fighting the best fighter in the world and that's the only way my coaches let me train. There is no easy fights so when people ask me how am I training for this fight or for this person my answer with always be the same because there is no other way to train. In my eyes I want to be the best so I train as if every fight, I'm fighting the best,” Buenafuente continued.
In addition to his training, Buenafuente rarely takes days off from the gym. “My body is in great shape coming out of one fight camp then going right back Into another fight camp,” said Buenafuente. “I never gave myself time to get out of shape so it made this camp so much easier to get right back to work,” he continued.
Not only a strong support from family and friends, Buenafuente has a strong fight team behind him. “I got into MMA because of my long time wrestling coach, Todd Williams,” said Buenafuente. “He was working with former UFC fighter Mike Missenzio and took an interest in me because of my wrestling so he brought me down to his gym to give it a try. When I stepped back on that mat I knew that’s where I wanted to be. Then I met Sensei Paul Carnicella who introduced me to Sensei Dominic Tafuri and I knew I found my home at Carnicella MMA,” he continued.
For the first time, Buenafuente faces a former ROC champion and understands that he is not to be taken lightly. “My thoughts on facing Julio Arce is he is just like everyone else trying to come take my belt,” said Buenafuente. “I have a lot of respect for him as he is a former champ and he is a great fighter but at the end of the day that is my belt and I don't have any plans on letting my belt go anywhere but back home with me. I worked my ass off to get where I am today and this is another stepping stone for The Mantis. Fighting great fighters like Julio is going to get me where I want to be so I am looking forward to step in that cage with him on the 18th,” he continued.
Lou Neglia has a history of putting on exciting matchups that launched fighters into the UFC rankings. Fights such as Chris Weidman vs Uriah Hall and Chris Wade vs Frankie Perez were fights that fans clamored for and now all four are competing inside the Octagon with Weidman winning the UFC middleweight title. Now, ROC 57 brings Frank Buenafuente vs Juilo Arce. A fight that is sure to be an instant classic.
This is a matchup the Mantis has been waiting for and is excited to show the MMA world who is the best featherweight. “Fans can expect a great fight come November 18th,” said Buenafuente. “They will see the best Frankie Buenafuente they have seen yet. I am planning for a war and if it goes the full 15, I will be ready for it. You have two great fighters getting into that cage and I'm dying to find out who's gonna show up and be the better fighter on November 18th,” he concluded.
Frank Buenafuente takes on title challenger Julio Arce, Friday, November 18 at the Tropicana Atlantic City showroom. Tickets can be purchased at the Tropicana box office, any TicketMaster outlet or from the ROC website. Get yours today!!!